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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 03:07 PM
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Bombing Investigation Severely Hampered by NRA! Demand Congress ACT!

Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 06:31 PM PDT
Bombing Investigation Severely Hampered by NRA! Demand Congress ACT!
by SemDem

I have been on hiatus for a month but this has gotten me so angry I have to write....

The NRA has once again stopped the most FUNDAMENTAL background check for owning an assault rifle---no doubt with many fence-sitting GOP senators hoping the front-page publicity of this awful terror attack will shield them from potential fallout.

The same day that the NRA's GOP minions decided that it was okay for a violent criminal to shoot me in the face, I discover that the Boston investigators are blocked from doing a thorough investigation because of the NRA and their allies.

Identification taggants are used to make it possible to trace explosive materials after detonation back to the source of the bomb. It is simple, cheap, and allows tracing to a point of sale. Law enforcement, the ATF, and others have pleaded for it. Clinton tried to make it mandatory after the OK City bombing. Current experts say it would have helped with the current investigation.

WHO would POSSIBLY oppose this technology?
The same idiots who oppose a background check for a killing machine....


One avenue of investigation is already closed off to forensic officials working the Boston Marathon bombing case due to efforts dating back decades by the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.

The FBI said Tuesday that gunpowder, along with pieces of metal and ball bearings, were packed into at least one pressure cooker and another device to make the crude bombs that killed three people—including an 8-year-old boy—and wounded more than 170 more during the Boston Marathon Monday.

But a crucial piece of evidence called a taggant that could be used to trace the gunpowder used in the bombs to a buyer at a point of sale is not available to investigators.

“If you had a good taggant this would be a good thing for this kind of crime. It could help identify the point of manufacturer, and chain of custody,” Bob Morhard, an explosives consultant and chief executive officer of Zukovich, Morhard & Wade, LLC., in Pennsylvania, who has traced explosives and detonators in use in the United States and Saudi Arabia, told MSNBC.com. “The problem is nobody wants to know what the material is.”

Explosives manufacturers are required to place tracing elements known as identification taggants only in plastic explosives but not in gunpowder, thanks to lobbying efforts by the NRA and large gun manufacturing groups.

This is nothing new. The ATF has complained that the long-unsolved Unabomber case along with the WTC, Atlanta, and OK City bombing investigations could have been significantly helped with taggant technology. For pete's sake, this was an article back in the LA Times in 1995:

Technology to help investigators trace the origin of explosives after bombings such as the one in Oklahoma City was developed more than 15 years ago, but the National Rifle Assn. and others, citing safety concerns, have lobbied successfully over the years to block its implementation.

The article was written 18 years ago... so this technology is well over 30 years old. But the NRA blocks it each time. WHY? The NRA actually claims it affects the trajectory of bullets (utter BS), and amounts to a "de facto" form of gun registration (really?). Both wonderful reasons why teams of investigators have to add weeks to their investigation combing through a city street for clues when they could possibly have had a lead already.


He should call for Harry Reid to introduce legislation TODAY to allow taggants in gun powder.

LET the f*ing NRA fight it! Let the GOP Senators filibuster it!! GO on... I'll wait....

THEN introduce background checks. AGAIN! Then introduce allowing taggants... AGAIN!! Rinse. Repeat.

All the way to 2014!!!

It's time people know whose side the NRA is really on: the side of violent shooters and terrorists. It's the only way things will change.


New Rule

Carlos Arredondo is the true hero we need today!

Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:29 PM PDT
Carlos Arredondo is the true hero we need today!
by elmaji

Carlos was born in Costa Rica. He moved to America as an undocumented worker and had two beautiful sons. But it wasn't long before the ugly face of politics took one of those sons away. His son Marine Lance Corporal Alexander Arrendondo was killed in Iraq in 2004. Carlos responded to the news in absolute grief, dousing himself with gasoline and setting light to himself before being tackled to the ground. Once taken to the hospital he had 20% of his body covered in burn scars.

Since that day Carlos had traveled the country. Protesting against the war, and was even attacked by right wing nutjobs for doing so. In 2006 Edward Kennedy working on his behalf was able to obtain Citizenship for Carlos Arredondo. But that's not where the story ends.

Carlos continued to protest well past 2008 and 2009. Setting up booths at Occupy Boston so that people would not forget what his son gave for this country and what this nations greed had cost him.

But in 2011 another blow would hit the Arredondo family; as his other son, Brian, still unable to reconcile the loss of his brother 7 years later, took his own life. Since that day Carlos has worked at home and throughout the nation to promote law changes and suicide prevention.

Each standing by their own are amazing stories. For any individual just doing one of these things would be enough to make them a hero in the eyes of others. But Carlos is not a ordinary man, and these alone are not the events that make him the Hero this nation needs.

No. Today as bombs went off at the Boston Marathon Carlos was there and he was not just going to sit about while people laid dying around him.

Carlos stood up! Carlos took these people; bodies torn apart by shockwave and shrapnel, some missing legs, some with limbs torn apart!

He lifted them up! He placed one legless man in a wheelchair and clamped his Femoral Artery by HAND. He wheeled him to a ambulance and went back for more! He was not afraid of a second explosion or another attack. He was only concerned with helping others.

He saved that man and many other peoples life.

For those who are reeling as a result of this attack, and seem to lose hope that this world could ever be a better place despite of the violence going on around us here is the evidence, the proof. There is still hope in this world. There is still hope in America.

Carlos Arredondo is that hope. He is that Hero so needed. He is a an amazing man. A man who deserves applause and much more for what he has done today. Despite facing every odd in his life and having everything set against him. He has come out as one of the finest example of the Human Condition and our America and what we stand for.



In Memoriam -- Kurt Cobain

He actually died 19 years ago on April 5th. It was a tragic loss. Thanks for the music, Kurt.

More fun with Michelle Rhee


This is powerful

A new internet meme for Michelle Rhee

Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 04:45 PM PDT
A new internet meme for Michelle Rhee
by teacherken

which I am happy to promote, even though I cannot claim I came up with it

#MichelleRhee #EraseToTheTop

let's make it go viral


UNBELIEVABLE: A Bill in Kansas to Outlaw Sustainability

Kansas's Self-Destruct Button: A Bill to Outlaw Sustainability
By Tom Randall Apr 9, 2013 8:10 AM ET

A Vortex 2 rotating supercell severe thunderstorm near Dodge City, Kansas. Photographer: Ryan McGinnis


...Now the state’s “Committee on Energy and Environment” is proposing a law that would prohibit spending on anything that won’t set Kansas on a course to self-destruction. House Bill No. 2366 would ban all state and municipal funds for anything related to “sustainable development,” which it defines as: “development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come."


...Kansas is the eighth biggest oil-and-gas producing state in the U.S., and fossil fuels will remain a big part of the economy for decades to come. Ask Dennis Hedke. He’s the geophysicist who does contract work for oil and gas companies and is chairman of the committee that wants to ban sustainability in Kansas...


...For the record, Hedke said House Bill No. 2366 shouldn’t affect the wind industry, because Kansas already doesn’t support wind development with public funds. In fact, he says, “we don’t have laws in Kansas right now that relate to sustainable development.” It’s more about preventing sustainable development in the future...


...Kansas has the wind-energy potential of 3,102 terawatt hours a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s about 80 percent of the annual electricity consumption of the entire United States. If Kansas developed just a tiny fraction of that -- 7,158 megawatts -- by 2030, it would provide economic benefits of about $7.8 billion for the state, according to the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Lab. And it would do so without contributing to the global warming that’s frying the state’s wheat and corn and pushing America’s breadbasket north...


To Remind Yourself How U.K and U.S. Conservatives Differ

To Remind Yourself How U.K and U.S. Conservatives Differ, Watch Prime Minister David Cameron Defend Marriage Equality
April 8th, 2013 1:47 pm @LOLGOP

As we note the passing of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, it’s also worth noting that while the so-called Iron Lady was on the far right of the U.K.’s political spectrum, she would likely be considered moderate or liberal by today’s GOP for one huge reason — she believed in global warming.

She spoke to the UN about the dangers presented by climate change and our obligation to fight it three years before Al Gore even became vice president, notes David Frum.

She also believed in socialized medicine and voted to raise taxes. In this, she wasn’t far off her political soulmate Ronald Reagan, who also raised taxes and effectively socialized medicine in the United States.

To understand how much more progressive conservatives are in the U.K. and most of the industrialized world, watch this inspiring speech by Tory prime minister David Cameron, explaining that marriage equality is a conservative value.


TOM TOMORROW: The pulse-pounding adventures of Sparkman and the Blinkster

Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 06:50 AM PDT
The pulse-pounding adventures of Sparkman and the Blinkster
by Tom Tomorrow for Comics

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